Monthly Archives: February 2016

Oil Production Vital Statistics February 2016

High Oil Price Volatility signals that the market has not yet decided the future direction of the oil price. Global production was marginally lower in January, but outside of the USA, oil production remains robust with rises registered in most producing areas. Production in Iran has begun to rise with 80,000 bpd added in January. US and global rig counts are in steep decline while drilling in the Middle East remains close to all time highs. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 113

This week Nicholas Stern is in the spotlight followed by US shale producers are finally buckling – or are they? Plus the budding US/Russia natural gas war, China now number one in wind, nuclear power plant costs, EDF calls for EU market reform, German solar “too much of a good thing”, Drax threatens a shutdown, the Didcot accident, Swansea tidal has a competitor, Solar Scotland, the ITER nuclear fusion machine, another battery storage breakthrough, the global warming pause is real and sea levels are rising faster than ever. Continue reading

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Going green – the Ofgem vision

“…. when there isn’t enough supply to match demand, we generate more and build more cables to carry it. As we decarbonise, simply building more power stations and cables to meet demand when the wind isn’t blowing, or the sun isn’t shining, is neither sustainable nor efficient.” Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , | 119 Comments

Oil Price Volatility

Oil market observers will appreciate that the oil price has become more volatile with daily movements of several percent common place. A friend suggested I could look into this to see if past patterns of price volatility had any predictive powers. Continue reading

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The Gatwick Gusher

Rumours are circulating that a hundred billion barrels of oil has just been discovered at Gatwick airport. To place this in context, the UK North Sea has produced around 28 billion barrels of oil since production began in 1975. How could we Brits be so dumb as to miss 100 billion barrels just waiting to be pumped from under the home counties? Continue reading

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Blowout week 112

Stories this week, include nuclear in South Australia and South Africa, Tesla batteries in Hawaii, Scotland facing a power crisis, how EDF’s decision to keep Torness open undermines democracy, the impacts of Brexit on UK renewables, the world’s largest floating solar PV plant, National Grid signs up for “footroom”, the Gatwick Gusher, Patrick Moore’s $100,000 CO2 wager and what really happened to 150,000 Adelie penguins. Continue reading

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The origins of the 2008 UK Climate Change Act

The UK Climate Change Act was at bottom a product of the “green revolution” that gained momentum during the 1960s and 1970s, and it’s difficult to say exactly who initiated the chain of events that led to it. As good a candidate as any, however, is Sir Crispin Tickell. Sir Crispin, a dedicated environmentalist…… Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Global Warming and the Irrelevance of Science

Guest essay by Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences (Emeritus) Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This is the text of a lecture delivered on August 20, 2015 to the 48th Session: Erice International Seminars on Planetary Emergencies

In many fields, governments have a monopoly on the support of scientific research. Ideally, they support the science because they believe objective research to be valuable. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , | 93 Comments

El Hierro – now up to 41 hours of 100% renewables generation

The El Hierro GdV project produced 100% renewables generation between 1 am on February 14 and 17.40 on February 15. But still enough to eclipse the 33 hours of 100% renewables generation achieved at King Island, Tasmania, last November. So congratulations to the GdV project staff. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , | 116 Comments

An Energy Plan for France and the UK

Environmental activist group Bellona report that President Hollande wishes to reduce France’s dependency on nuclear power. It suddenly struck me that France will have nuclear power stations that it no longer needs and the UK needs nuclear power stations that it cannot afford to build. The solution is absurdly simple. The UK can simply contract to buy 20 GW of nuclear power from France while France presses on to modernise its infrastructure by deploying more bio-energy, wind and solar power. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , | 92 Comments

Blowout Week 111

This week’s Blowout features the US supreme court’s surprise decision to block Obama’s clean power plan and how it might cause the Paris Climate Accord to unravel. Below the fold a message from US shale producers to OPEC, China’s meltdown-proof reactor, wind and solar in the EU, South Australia, Scotland, California and Morocco, the CSIRO layoffs, the Rugely shutdown, Scotland’s dwindling tax revenues, Swansea Bay tidal takes a hit, Friends of the Earth in trouble over anti-fracking campaign, WWF accused of “involvement in violence & abuse”, the waning El Niño, Christians give up fossil fuels for Lent and UK rig workers no longer fit through escape hatches. Continue reading

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UK Blackout Risk – Amber Warning

In recent months, three companies have announced closure of 4 large coal-fired power stations in the UK representing a total loss of 6.671 GW base load capacity*. Combined with closure of 1 nuclear station and the pending closure of two CCGTs, total capacity loss in 2016 will amount to 8.726 GW. If there was a blackout risk this winter, then things will obviously be much worse next winter. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 150 Comments

Surface versus satellite; the temperature data set controversy

This post follows on from Euan Mearns’ recent posts on record heat and the Ratpac data set. My goals are:
* To clarify some points regarding what the satellite and “surface” temperature records are really telling us.
* To see if we can define which temperature sets are reliable and which aren’t. Continue reading

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The record of recent Man-made CO2 emissions: 1965 -2014

If Greens wants to save the world from CO2 emissions this data wholly vindicates the use of Nuclear power for electricity generation. Their preference for Renewable Energy, with the closure of fossil fuel generation, may destroy the progress and benefits of western civilization. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , | 59 Comments

Blowout week 110

Blowout this week includes the trials and tribulations of Saudi Arabia and OPEC, US O&G company ratings cut, Obama proposes $10/bbl tax on US O&G companies, Spain presses EC to save its coal industry, UK and German emissions fall, Hinkley financing concerns spread to Wylfa, Fiddler’s Ferry closure, the world’s largest wind farm and energy storage finally poised for a breakthrough. Continue reading

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Oil Production Vital Statistics January 2016

Market fundamentals point to chronic over-supply of crude oil throughout 2016. The technicals point to the makings of an oil price rally. A strong price rally from current levels may extend the situation of chronic over-supply that may have a debilitating impact on the oil price and the oil industry for years to come. Continue reading

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El Hierro – 16 hours of 100% renewables generation

Between 0540 and 2140 hours on January 31 2016 the Gorona del Viento (GdV) wind-hydro plant supplied the island of El Hierro with 100% of its electricity from renewables. This short post provides plots of the REE grid data for that day and adds a few observations. Continue reading

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RATPAC – an initial look at the Global Balloon Radiosonde Temperature Series

This post presents the RATPAC A weather balloon temperature profiles through the atmosphere from 85 sampling stations around the globe. The data from troposphere levels confirms the warming trend already known from surface thermometers. The data from stratosphere levels show substantial stratosphere cooling since 1958. The stratosphere is significantly warmed during large volcanic eruptions and this is followed by substantial cooling. The simplest explanation for the cooling trend is ozone depletion. A cooling stratosphere means less UV radiation being captured at high altitude and more UV arriving at surface and this may enhance the greenhouse effect. Continue reading

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